RUGS THAT WORK FOR A MUDROOM

May 10, 2018

One hesitation I had with wood floors in the kitchen was that it would also mean wood floors in the mudroom. It’s ok. We’ll make it and I’m cool with it. And it means I get to pick out a rug.

In really heavy traffic or soil areas, I like to get a beat up old vintage persian rug for a good deal. I love vintage persians practically anywhere. But getting a cheap one for an area like a mudroom feels so good because it is pretty, inexpensive, and makes me feel care free about it’s condition and maintaining it.

To quickly recap, we recently had two closets ripped out in here. Then we laid new floors. The walls were super patchy and dirty from the closet removal (and because I had been ignoring this room’s cleanliness because it was going to be renovated soon.)

black & white kitchenaid mixer | articulating sconces | farmer’s market calendar | cabinet knobs | drawer pulls | persian rug (similar)

I painted everything my beloved bright white (ralph lauren’s chalk white). In here I went with satin which is a departure from my pretty strong devotion to eggshell. A little extra wipeablilty felt like it would matter.

Also at the same time we swapped out all the outlets and switches for new ones which CONTINUES to be one of my favorite little fixes that makes such a difference in how updated your house feels. If you are getting by ignoring yellowed or almond colored outlets and switches, I think you will be so much happier if you swap them out. It is not expensive (like $1.50 for materials). While I am at it, I go ahead and get the tamper resistant ones because they are only like 10 cents more. If you are a moderate diy-er you could do it yourself. But even hiring an electrician to do it would be not expensive because it is so simple. We are changing them room by room as we work on them and it always delights me when they are fresh and new.

And even if you have been following what I’ve been blogging lately about our mudroom’s design and progress, you may not realize it has a hidden past. Three years ago when we bought this house from an older woman living alone, this area had a standing tub installed. They ripped it out before we moved in, and put the bifold doors that were originally on the closet back up. These two photos are of the same view!

You may see there is a weird little cubby on the wall. It has like, some valves in it? I don’t know what for. Probably a laundry option since there is an outlet in the middle of the wall there too.

My vision is to have built in cabinetry here, so right now my goal is just to make this end clean and neutral. And a weirdly placed but still crisp white outlet bothers me like zero percent.

brass bin (similar) | wool basket | persian rug (similar)

So I’ve added a great persian I adore. (Here’s a pretty good mass produced one that is similar for only $55!) I found that shoe bin while thrifting (documented on my instagram stories). I wavered at first because it was $12 at a more high end thrift store. Then I thought about how many of my go-to places to shop at a mid level price range (target, world market, urban outfitters, craft stores) just are not selling pieces like that and they would definitely be more than $12 if they start.

Metal is perfect for shoe storage because it is so easily cleaned and sanitized. And a bin for shoes needs to be a good size.  The little wool basket is from target. I love having these for storage here. They are mostly just for children’s shoes. And the little one is actually for the kid socks. Having those right by the door is so convenient. And children can get their own items and help with clean up.

Now next we we will do some hooks for functionality and art. That will make the mudroom complete except for the second round of doing the built in cabinetry. And when I will do that depends on how much I find myself feeling like I need more storage! So much prioritizing when you’re renovating a home. There’s always a hundred things you could do, so we just have a lot of list making and conversation to decide what most will make a difference to our family.

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ONE PAN LEMON CHICKEN ANGEL HAIR

May 7, 2018

The fresh and light lemon flavor makes this one of the few pasta entrees that doesn’t leave me feeling so stuffed I could hibernate for all of the upcoming winter months. Lighter, yet obviously filling. Simple, yet so bright and flavorful.

As a side note, today it struck me how strange it is that we call this “angel hair” pasta. Really surprised that marketing was not met with disdain but consumers. But ok!

SORRY AND AGAIN I just have to say I love lemon + pasta because it takes pasta’s only possible flaw (heaviness) and makes it all fresh and light feeling.

One Pan Lemon Chicken Angel Hair
Serves four

1 tablespoon olive oil
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
6 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups vegetable broth
8 ounces angel hair pasta
1/2 cup grated parmesan, divided
3 tablespoons butter
1 lemon, juiced (about 2 tablespoons)
2 cups spinach
3 green onions, sliced

Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Cook chicken until no pink remains, about 4-5 minutes on each side. Slice chicken thinly.

Saute garlic in pan for 30 seconds. And vegetable broth and spaghetti to pan. Bring to boil, then reduce heat to medium. Simmer for 10-12 minutes, until liquid is absorbed.

Fold in 1/4 cup grated parmesan, butter, lemon juice, spinach, and chicken. Mix until butter is melted and evenly distributed. Top with green onion and remaining parmesan.

ONE PAN LEMON CHICKEN ANGEL HAIR
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 8 ounces angel hair pasta
  • ½ cup grated parmesan, divided
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 lemon, juiced (about 2 tablespoons)
  • 2 cups spinach
  • 3 green onions, sliced
Instructions
  1. Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Cook chicken until no pink remains, about 4-5 minutes on each side. Slice chicken thinly.
  2. Saute garlic in pan for 30 seconds. And vegetable broth and spaghetti to pan. Bring to boil, then reduce heat to medium. Simmer for 10-12 minutes, until liquid is absorbed.
  3. Fold in ¼ cup grated parmesan, butter, lemon juice, spinach, and chicken. Mix until butter is melted and evenly distributed. Top with green onion and remaining parmesan.

Adapted from Betty Crocker.

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BUILDING OUT THE TOE KICKS ON KITCHEN CABINETS

May 3, 2018

Things for our kitchen are bopping along now and with finishing the floors we get to do this little project that makes such a difference for the feel of our cabinets. Building out the toe kicks bring a look of custom and polished-ness.

And also just like more, balanced. The cabinetry seems more substantial when the base is trimmed out with the same baseboards used in the rest of the room.

Before there were some old toe kicks with some kind of rubber lining of them. We busted those out and went ahead and did fresh wood. That has been our general philosophy with things that aren’t too expensive or hard. Put new, fresh, sturdy stuff in to feel clean and solid.

THESE NEXT THREE PARAGRAPHS ARE DETAILS FROM DAVID IF YOU WISH TO CREATE THIS YOURSELF. We measured the height of the toe kick to determine the height of our trim. We wanted the baseboard to be as low as possible on the cabinet, while maintaining enough overlap for a solid connection to caulk. I used the same baseboard as in the rest of my house except here we did 4 and 1/4 inch. (Everywhere else is 3 and 1/4 inch).

I built out some points where we could secure the lower part of the baseboard to the existing structure. To do this, we measured the depth of the toe kick and cut pieces of 1 x 2 furring strip to size. The furring strip butted up to the back of the toe kick and was as long as the toe kick’s depth. We used an air nailer to secure these to the ground every 10 inches or so. If there were any spots where we needed to create a corner in the baseboard (like by the dishwasher or oven), we measured the gap that would be created by the baseboard and toe kick and cut a piece of the baseboard in height and width to finish the corner and enclose the toe kick. Since those gap pieces we cut didn’t have the full height of the baseboard intact, we decided not to miter these corners, but to have these pieces meet perpendicularly with the intact baseboard.

After securing the pieces of furring strip to the ground and nailing the gap pieces into the side of the furring strip to create the dishwasher and oven corners, we were ready to put the baseboards on. We marked the location of the furring strip with painter’s tape and installed baseboards in front of the cabinets by nailing the bottom of the baseboards to the pieces of furring strip. There was still a little wiggle at the top of the baseboards but caulking held the top in place well.

(Sometimes he says “we,” but really it is all him!)

Yes please to this! I like that middle photo above because it so shows the comparison of having the toe kick which feels a little smaller and more top heavy versus the encased one.

With the crown this completes the floor to ceiling initiative of having the cabinets feel built in and trimmed out. That is something I think makes a big difference in how nice kitchens feel. With that, phase one of the kitchen is kind of done!

Phase two would be an island and some open shelving. Phase three (which is more of a some day thing) would be stone counters, different faucet, and new appliances. Love you, kitch. Sincerely, Rach.

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Copyright © Rachel Schultz 2018